I decided, on a whim, to rip another band-aid off.
When the triplets had been home for a week, we took them for a pediatrician appointment. After the appointment I told Doug we had to take them somewhere, anywhere in public. I didn’t want it to be that scary thing looming in the future and get all worked up over it. I wanted to face it head on and be able to say … yes I can take my kids out in public. So we took them to Target. Got the job done.
This was just about the same thing. I wanted to take Logan and Weston out in public … on my own. Face the first person to call them twins. And you know what? I did it and I’m glad it’s over. One more check next to a “first after Owen’s gone.” The Wal-Mart cashier was the first person to ask if they were twins. I replied kindly “No, they are triplets. Their brother is with their Father.” (great suggestion by a reader!) She smiled and went about checking me out.
That’s it? She bought it that easily? Can’t she see how much it hurt me to say that? Can’t she tell that I’m a mourning mother? I feel so different … I must look different. It hurt that it was over that easily. She accepted it so gracefully and that was it. I wanted her to ask more. But why would she? I gave her a perfectly logical answer. From her point of view, there wasn’t anything more to ask.
The next time someone called the boys twins … I wasn’t as graceful. The cashier at Menard’s asked if they were twins. I replied the same … but then found myself rambling. She made a comment on having three graduations one day. That’s when I said, “No, we’ll only have two. Their brother just passed away.” She felt just horrible. I felt worse for making her feel bad.
Here I am trying to cope … and having an ok day. At the mention of my Owen, I have brought an ugly gray cloud to someone else’s world. I have burdened a complete stranger with the ugliness of mortality. Reminded that her that someone’s worse nightmare actually comes true.
I’ve learned that it might just be better to have it slip by. It’s a way of protecting the innocent. Why bear my sole to a cashier and make them feel like an idiot for making small talk? Why not let them live in happiness for just a while longer? That’s where I sure wish I was some days. Still being naive and thinking that life is full of happy, warm and lovable babies. Having no idea that the grasp of death is all too close, even to a 6 month old.
I’m sure there will be days when I need to talk about it. My awkward conversation with the a stranger might happen again … and that will be ok. But I think I’m more comfortable with the smiling and nodding – knowing deep down that they really have no idea. I wish this pain on no one.
It’s so unnatural for me though. As you can tell, I bear my heart out to those who are willing to listen. I speak what is on my mind, even if it hurts. I find comfort in words and expression. I hate having to try to be someone else than who I am. I’m loud … so when I have to watch what I say, I feel odd. I don’t like it.
I hope Owen knows that I do this to protect others. I hope he doesn’t think I’m trying to belittle what has happened or that I’m trying to forget him. It physically hurts. My scarlet letter to bear for the rest of my time on this earth. Deep down I know he’s not even worried about me anymore. Heaven is a place of true happiness and I hope he’s enjoying every minute. He’s not worried about what is happening here in the life of humans. He is in the lap of God, knowing nothing but love and warmth. I don’t want him thinking about me … I want him to be at peace. He deserves it.